It's election season. You can smell it in the air. And even if I didn't have a calendar to tell me we're only 4 months and 28 days from the 7th of November, I could tell you it's election season, and here's why:
Orrin Hatch has brought up the perennial flag-burning amendment. AGAIN. I think deep down in his heart, he knows it's an assault on free-speech and freedom as a whole, but it gets his conservative Utah base fired up, so he keeps pushing it...at the opportune times before elections.
Gay marriage is at the forefront. We haven't heard much about it since 2004, but it somehow got Bush his second term, so other Republicans are looking at it as a way to divert attention from failings in Iraq, Katrina, sub-par health care, the huge national debt, and deep-rooted corruption, so they bring it up again, trying to throw right-wing Christians into a frenzy, while fair-minded people everywhere roll their eyes as the real issues get pushed aside.
Politicians have already started kissing babies! Figuratively speaking. "We have to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment because it's about children!" "We have to repeal the estate (or cleverly worded "death") tax for children!" "We have to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for our children!" Funny that in the off-years, more school and child-geared programs get funding cuts. Or in Utah, more poor children don't have dental care in favor of a parking complex. But we should definitely give millionaire children a break! Particularly Bob Bennett's. That's right folks, it's all about children when using that frame of reference will get you elected. Otherwise, forget them! Let them make their own way!
Wedge issues, wedge issues, everywhere! In a word: Immigration. Everybody has a "hard-line" stance, but few have real solutions. As it has been with other favorite wedges: abortion, health care, Social Security, gay marriage. Politicians love to tell you they stand with you on your side of the issue, without really telling you what they're going to do about it. And usually, they end up doing the opposite of what they promised.
That's right, it's election season, and trying to see through the spin to what folks really stand for gets tiring...I suppose that's why people vote right down the Republican or Democratic ticket. It's hard to really see who a person is when they're running for office.